Sports Vocabulary for English Learners

Catching a Baseball
Catch the Ball. Mike Kemp / Getty Images

 The words below are the most important words used when discussing sports. Words are categorized into different sections. You'll find example sentences for each word to help provide context for learning. 

Equipment

ball - Pick up the ball and throw it too me. 
football - American footballs are different than European footballs. 
hockey puck - He slapped the hockey puck into the goal. 
golf ball - Golf balls are small and very hard.

Golfers can hit them over 300 yards!
bat - The baseball player picked up the bat and stepped up to the plate. 
cue - The pool player put resin on his cue while he considered his shot. 
golf club - You can carry up to 14 golf clubs when you play golf. 
hockey stick - The hockey stick was originally made of wood. 
ice-skates - Ice-skates have a long thin blade that slides over the ice. 
mitt - The baseball player catches the ball in a mitt. 
racing car - He got into the racing car and drove down the track. 
tennis / squash / badminton racket - Many professionals bring six or more racquets with them to the match. 
saddle - Put the saddle on the horse and we'll take a ride in the hills. 
skis - Skis are long and thin and can be difficult to use. 
snowboard - Many people prefer to use a snowboard to descend the slope. 
shuttle cock - The shuttle cock is used in the game of badminton. 
surfboard - In Hawaii, surfers use their surfboards to go down waves.

People

athlete - Athletes need to stay in excellent shape. 
badminton player - The badminton player picked up the racket and began the game. 
basketball player - Some basketball players are paid over $5 million a year!
boxer - Boxers fight in categories such as lightweight and heavyweight. 
cyclist - The cyclists on the Tour de France often ride over 100 kilometers a day.

 
diver - The diver spent one hour under water. 
footballer /football player - Europe's top footballers are often national heros. 
golfer - Golfers need steady nerves as they hit the small golfball two hundred yards into a crowd of spectators. 
gymnast - Gymnasts are often young and train hours every day. 
hockey player - Hockey players skate quickly on the ice. 
jockey - A jockey needs to be small and lightweight. 
ice-skater - Ice-skaters are often elegant artists on the ice as they skate to the music. 
racing driver - The racing driver sped past his nemesis. 
skier - The skier raced down the hill to beat the best time. 
squash / tennis / badminton / volleyball / rugby player - Tennis players have to travel all over the world for important tournaments. 
surfer - Many people think the life of a surfer on the beach must be a dream come true.
swimmer - Are you a strong swimmer? 
weight-lifter - The weight-lifter lifted over 200 kilos. 

Places

circuit - The race circuit cuts through the city and out into the country. 
court - A basketball court has a wooden floor. 
course - The golf course has eighteen beautiful holes. 
field - The soccer field is located at the end of this street. 
gym - How often do you go to the gym to workout?


pitch - The players came onto the rugby pitch to began the match. 
ring - The boxers got into the ring, shook hands, and began the fight. 
rink - During the winter, I like to go to the rink and ice-skate. 
stadium - Some stadiums can hold more than 100,000 people!

Types of Sport

athletics (do) - Children should do a wide range of athletics. 
badminton (play) - You need a net, two racquets and a shuttle cock to play badminton. 
basketball (play) - I used to play basketball when I was in high school. 
boxing - Boxing is a violent sport. 
cycling - Cycling calls for great stamina. 
diving - Diving off a cliff must take courage. 
football (play) - He played football during college. 
golf (play) - How often do you play golf?
gymnastics (do) - My sister did gymnastics when she was younger. 
hockey (play) - We liked to play hockey up in the north.

 
horse-racing - Horse-racing is quite an expensive sport. 
ice-skating - Ice-skating is a popular olympic sport. 
motor-racing - Motor-racing might be exciting, but it's very loud.
riding - Riding through the woods must be lovely. 
rugby (play) - We played the rugby match last week. 
skiing - Skiing can be very a very expensive sport because of lift tickets and equipment. 
snooker (play) - We played snooker until early in the morning. 
squash (play) - We play squash indoors with a long racket and small, hard ball. 
surfing - Surfing is big business in California. 
swimming - Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise because it involves all our muscles. 
tennis (play) - She played tennis on her high school team. 
volleyball (play) - The women played volleyball on the court. 
weightlifting - Weightlifting requires keeping a strict diet. 
windsurfing - Windsurfing is a popular sport in Hood River, Oregon. 

You can also learn about common idioms that come from sports, such as baseball idioms